Chicken Pho (Vietnamese Rice Noodle Soup) Recipe

Chicken Pho (Vietnamese Rice Noodle Soup)

Serves 4

Although not as traditional as beef phở, this delicious Vietnamese noodle soup is rich and bright with notes of coriander and lemongrass.


  • Broth:
  • 2 pounds bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
  • 5 whole star anise
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 3-inch piece ginger root, peeled and sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and halved
  • 1 pound leeks, white part only, sliced crosswise
  • 20 cloves garlic
  • 4 stalks lemongrass, cut into 4-inch pieces and smashed
  • 1/4 Fuji apple, left as wedge
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Noodles and Toppings:
  • 10 ounces phở rice noodles, uncooked
  • Herbs (Thai basil, cilantro, and mint)
  • Mung beans or bean sprouts
  • Sliced chiles (Thai bird or jalapeño)
  • Lime wedges
  • Sriracha or hoisin sauce


  1. Place chicken in large Dutch oven or heavy soup pot. Cover with water. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and rinse chicken. This helps create a clear broth. Rinse pot, return chicken to pot, and set aside. Alternatively, place chicken in slow cooker.
  2. In a dry skillet over medium-high heat, add spices and toast until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Transfer to pot with chicken.
  3. Add a drizzle of oil to skillet and sear ginger slices on both sides. Remove and add to pot with chicken. Place onion, cut-side down into skillet and char. Flip and brown other side. Add to pot.
  4. Add leeks, garlic, lemongrass, and apple to pot with other ingredients. Add 2 1/2 quarts water, enough to cover chicken and vegetables, and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer gently 2 to 3 hours. (For slow cooker, cook on low 8 hours.)
  5. Remove chicken to a bowl. When cool enough to handle, shred chicken, discard bones, and set aside for serving.
  6. Skim fat from broth. Strain broth into a bowl. Season with fish sauce and salt. Serve hot or chill for future use. It will keep up to 4 days in refrigerator or a couple of months in freezer. Bring to boil before serving.
  7. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and transfer to bowl of room temperature water. Set aside. Arrange toppings on platter.
  8. To serve, place a portion of drained noodles in each bowl with a serving of shredded chicken. Top with piping hot broth and add desired toppings.
  9. Chef's Note:


Amount Per Serving (based on 4 servings)
Calories: 450
Fat: 15 g
Saturated Fat: 2.5 g
Cholesterol: 170 mg
Sodium: 2270 mg
Carbohydrates: 48 g
Fiber: 0 g
Sugar: 8 g
Protein: 32 g
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